Swimming Strength Training
Just like athletes in any other sport, swimmers will benefit from developing high levels of strength and power. What they don’t need is bulk, so weight training programs should be carefully designed to avoid any unnecessary size.
Core and hip power should be central features of training, along with upper body strength. Plyometrics and some Olympic lifting should be incorporated into the plan, as well. Swimming uses all the muscles in the body, so careful emphasis should be placed on creating a balanced program that only spends extra time on weaker points.
Consideration must be given to how stressed the shoulder joint is when combining sport practice with training. Swimmers are, generally speaking, at lower risk for injury than most sports unless workouts add too much stress to the upper body.
Those who compete in endurance events would get extra benefit from some higher repetition weight training plans. Those in sprint events should stay with lower repetition, higher intensity training.
Swimming Speed & Agility Training
Other than for cardiovascular purposes, building better sprint and agility techniques on land has almost no carryover effect in this sport.
What swimmers can benefit from, though, is a lively and challenging dryland fitness program. This will add much needed variety into training, lessening the potential for burnout.
Conditioning for Swimming
Some dryland training for endurance and aerobic development is recommended, most conditioning work for swimming should be done in the pool.
Injury Prevention for Swimming
This likely the safest sport we train athlete for. Having said that, swimmers are not 100% immune from injury.
Ligament strains and tears can come up, particularly from the unnatural leg motion in the breast stroke. Care should be taken with respect to training volume as the primary step to protect the knees. Further stability can be gained from lower body strength, stability, and mobility work for the hips.
A secondary problem that may stem from this is that the muscles on the outside of the leg become stronger in relation to those on the inside, which eventually will pull the knee cap to the side of its natural track. Training can definitely help here, as a concerted effort to strengthening the muscles that pull inward on the patella (knee cap) should be undertaken for those in need.
Most other swimming-related injuries come from tendonitits in the shoulders, which is often a combination of high volumes of swimming combined with a poorly thought out approach to training. Exercises for the upper body should be chosen carefully to limit the strain on the shoulder region.
Youth Swim Training Considerations
For overall athletic development, coordination, and general fitness, young swimmers should mix up their mode of exercise as often as possible. Careful consideration should be made to make sports participation as fun as possible at all times, but particularly for those age 12 and under. This will lower the risk of burnout in otherwise dedicated and talented performers.
As far as specific physical needs, they should partcipate in high energy activities often to help stay in good shape. Flexibility is important, but at younger ages this is not a major focus of training. Kids are naturally flexible before they hit growth spurts later on in their early teen years.
Youth swimmers should also build a good base of strength, particularly through their core (or midsection). This will increase their power output now, but even more so in the future.
Swim Training at Power Source
Central Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire swimmers can train with us in any of our elite programs. We’ll tailor your training specifically to target your greatest areas of strength and power needs, as well as help protect you from any potential injury risks, in our Group Personal Training Program.
Feel free to contact us at any time to inquire about training for an individual athlete, or private clinic/team training options.